FIFA executive backs reforms

FIFA (AFP)
FIFA (AFP)

Zurich - FIFA's executive committee on Wednesday gave its backing to reforms aimed at leading world football's scandal-tainted governing body into a post-Sepp Blatter era.

The reforms to be put to a special congress on Friday include limits on terms for the president and other top officials, disclosure of salaries and greater checks on executive members.

FIFA has been reeling under corruption scandals after arrests of top officials at a congress in Zurich last May. Blatter won a fifth term but announced he would stand down shortly after and is now banned for eight years over separate ethics abuses.

"The FIFA Executive Committee today unanimously urged FIFA's member associations to approve the full slate of proposed reforms enshrined in the new draft FIFA statutes at the extraordinary congress on Friday," said a statement released after the meeting.

Friday's congress will also elect a new president with UEFA general secretary Gianni Infantino and Asian football leader Sheikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al-Khalifa the favourites.

"The eyes of the world are on us this week after one of the most challenging times in our history," said acting FIFA president Issa Hayatou.

"The approval of the reforms will send a strong message that we have listened and that we are taking the action necessary to regain trust and improve our performance."

Hayatou said "Each of these measures is critical for the future of FIFA and global football. We urge each of the member associations to support the reforms in full, and then to implement them in their entirety at home."

While debate about the reforms is predicted none of them is expected to be rejected.

US authorities have charged 39 individuals -- including top FIFA members -- and two companies over more than $200 million of bribes paid for football marketing and television deals.

Switzerland is in parallel investigating the award of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups to Russia and Qatar. It is also investigating Blatter for criminal mismanagement.

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